Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs


Which Instant Pot should you buy? See my guide.


Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe. How to cook perfectly moist and juicy chicken thighs in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. With tips on how to cook from fresh or frozen.

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs on a plate with roasted potatoes.

In an effort to bring you more quick and easy dinner ideas and also more easy Instant Pot recipes, I’m excited to share this Instant Pot chicken thighs recipe with you! Judging by the popularity of my baked chicken thighs recipe, many of you love flavorful chicken thighs as much as I do.

You can cook these perfect juicy, seasoned chicken thighs in your Instant Pot in just 30 minutes, start to finish. Cooking chicken in your Instant Pot frees up all of your oven space so you can roast a pan of veggies to serve alongside the chicken. If you prefer a crockpot recipe, try my Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs.

The spice rub on these chicken thighs is similar to the rub that I use on my baked chicken thighs, and it is so good! It adds so much flavor to the meat.

When you make these pressure cooker chicken thighs you’ll use the sauté function on your Instant Pot to first brown the chicken on both sides. This step adds flavor and is a real benefit to using the Instant Pot. The convenience of sautéing and pressure cooking all in one pot is a busy cook’s dream!

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

If you are new to Instant Pot cooking, I recommend reading my guide for how to use an Instant Pot. It will tell you everything you need to know to get started.

To cook chicken thighs in the Instant Pot, you’ll start by seasoning your chicken. I usually use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe but you can also use bone in. The seasoning is a simple mixture of spices. Rub the spice rub over both sides of the chicken thighs.

Browning chicken thighs in an Instant Pot.

Next, you’ll heat a tablespoon of olive oil in your Instant Pot inner pot using sauté mode. Brown the chicken pieces for about 4 minutes per side. Try not to move the chicken around too much. The meat should release from the bottom of the pot easily once it has a good sear.

Remove the chicken to a clean plate. Pour 1 cup of water into the inner pot and use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. This step will ensure you don’t get a burn warning during the pressure cooking process. You’ll leave the water in the Instant Pot, as it will create the steam that is needed for pressure cooking.

Set the metal trivet that came with your Instant Pot inside the inner pot and put the chicken on top of the trivet. This keeps the chicken out of the liquid during the cooking process.

Chicken thighs on a trivet in an Instant Pot.

For fresh boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Once the cooking cycle ends, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes. Just leave the Instant Pot alone. The chicken will continue to cook during this time.

Quick release any remaining pressure in the pot by carefully turning the steam release valve to the venting position. When the float valve drops down, open the Instant Pot.

For food safety, chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. I like to use an instant read thermometer to check that the chicken is cooked through. The chicken should be done after browning and pressure cooking for 8 minutes. If it’s not, you can either cook 1-2 minutes more at high pressure, or, remove the trivet and water from the inner pot and cook the chicken on sauté mode until it’s done.

How to cook frozen chicken thighs in an Instant Pot

To cook frozen chicken thighs in your Instant Pot, first make sure that the chicken thigh pieces are separate and not frozen together. This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly.

Skip the step of browning the chicken on sauté mode. Add 1 cup of water to the inner pot and place the metal trivet in the inner pot. Put the chicken thighs on top of the trivet.

Since the spice rub won’t stick well to frozen chicken, I recommend sprinkling half of it on the top of the chicken thighs after you place them on the trivet. After cooking you can add a little more seasoning and then brown the meat if you wish.

Cook frozen chicken thighs on high pressure for 15 minutes and then do 5 minutes of natural pressure release. You may want to brown the cooked chicken thighs under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes. Or, you can pour the water out of the Instant Pot and brown the cooked chicken thighs on sauté mode for a few minutes.

How to cook bone in chicken thighs in an Instant Pot

Fresh bone in chicken thighs are also perfect for cooking in your Instant Pot! Follow the same method as for boneless chicken thighs but increase the pressure cook time to 10 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes after cooking.

What to serve with Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

I like to serve mashed potatoes and a vegetable side dish with these chicken thighs. Try these crockpot mashed potatoes, honey roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash or avocado kale salad.

You might also enjoy my Instant Pot mashed potatoes recipe.

Instant Pot chicken thighs on a plate with potatoes and zucchini.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs on a plate with roasted potatoes.
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4.94 from 15 votes

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe. How to cook perfectly moist and juicy chicken thighs in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. With tips on how to cook from fresh or frozen.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword frozen chicken thighs instant pot, instant pot chicken thighs, pressure cooker chicken thighs
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 people
Calories 233kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs about 6 thighs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the dried oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture over all sides of the chicken thighs.
  • Pour the olive oil into the Instant Pot inner pot and press the "Sauté" button to turn on sauté mode. Once the oil is hot, spread it over the bottom of the pot. Carefully place the seasoned chicken thighs in the pot. Cook about 4 minutes per side, until both sides are browned. Remove chicken to a clean plate.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and pour 1 cup of water into the inner pot. Use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. This will ensure that you do not get a burn warning during the pressure cooking process.
  • Place the metal trivet in the Instant Pot. Put the chicken thighs on top of the trivet.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down. When the Instant Pot beeps a few times to let you know that the cook time has finished, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot alone).
  • Then carefully turn the steam release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure. When the float valve drops down carefully open the Instant Pot lid. Use an instant-read thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F, the safe temperature for chicken.

Notes

  • If using bone-in chicken thighs, follow the recipe as written and pressure cook for 10 minutes at high pressure plus 5 minutes natural pressure release.
  • To cook frozen chicken thighs, skip the step of browning as you cannot brown frozen meat. Place 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot inner pot. Add the trivet to the pot and put the frozen chicken thighs on top of the trivet. Cook frozen chicken thighs for 15 minutes at high pressure plus 5 minutes natural pressure release.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5thighs | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 289mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs on a plate with roasted potatoes.

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